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Winter Driving Tips From The Boise Police Department

Protect Yourself From Fraud When Shopping For A Car Online

  Shopping for cars online is easier than ever, and more and more buyers are turning to the Internet during the shopping process. According to the 2011 Automotive Buyer Influence Study, conducted by Polk and AutoTrader.com, new and used vehicle buyers spend 18 to 19 hours researching cars before purchasing, and they spend 60 percent of their shopping time online.

 While the Internet has made used-car shopping easier than ever, consumers need to be cautious in order to protect themselves from fraud. Most automotive classified sites connect shoppers and sellers, but the actual purchase transactions take place through other avenues – offline and online. Consumers who want to make the move from shopping to purchasing online should exhibit the most caution.

AutoTrader.com and Western Union recommend these helpful tips to help you protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud if buying a car online:

* Choose and contact a reputable escrow service yourself after verifying their legitimacy by checking with state regulators or the Better Business Bureau. Scammers will try to make you believe they are using an escrow service, when they have actually set up fake accounts using real company names.

* Do not use money transfer services to purchase a vehicle online. Money transfer services are fast, easy and convenient ways to send funds to people you know. They are not intended to be a payment vehicle when doing business with a stranger you have not personally met.

* Be a cautious buyer and be prepared to walk away. Make sure you see the car and have it checked out before purchasing it. If the seller does not allow this and tells you that he or she will only accept a money transfer before allowing you to see the car, be prepared to walk away. If the seller tells you how to safeguard your purchase by putting the transaction in the name of a friend, don’t believe it. It won’t protect you from a fraudulent seller. Learn more at http://www.westernunion.com/stopfraud.

* If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you can’t find a comparable deal on a car locally, it may be too good to be true. Fraudulent sellers often have long stories about why they aren’t available to show you the car, why they can only be reached via email or why they have to sell it fast and therefore priced the car below market value, so be suspicious if you hear reasons along those lines. These sellers promise that they can ship the car to you immediately and will escrow your payment, but that is not the case. All the above are red flags for fraud.

You work hard to make your money, and the last thing you want is for someone to steal it from you. If you are going to buy a car you find in an online ad, make sure you take the proper precautions to safeguard your cash.

Courtesy ARA Content

Einstein’s Customer Quotables

 “I was really impressed with the service and atmosphere at Einstein’s Oilery. The servicemen were upbeat, friendly, and efficient. They seemed to actually enjoy their jobs and make you feel important. They politely offered additional services without being pushy or trying to scare me. The free wifi, drink and “sucker” for my son were nice added benefits.”

-Psalm T via Yelp-

Treasure Valley Halloween & Harvest Attractions

Linder Farms – Linder Farms is the official corn maze of the BSU Broncos and home to many fun, family activities including barrel train rides, lazer tag, pumpkin slingshots, hayrides, a petting zoo, pony rides, inflatables, an obstacle course, and the famous “Trail of Terror”.

The Farmstead – The Farmstead is the site of Idaho’s original corn maze. Other attractions include a pumpkin patch, a jumping pillow, pig races, cow train, hay rides, and the terrifying Field of Screams.

Halloween Night! – Enjoy safe trick-or-treating with a science twist at the Discovery Center of Idaho. Enjoy snacks, candy, and experiments, along with the normal exhibits. Fun for all ages.

Frightened Felons – Enjoy a spooky evening at the Old Idaho Penitentiary. There will be games, food and beverages to buy, actors dressing up like convicts of old, and more. October 28th – 29th.

Haunted World – Haunted World is the Northwest’s largest haunted area with three separate fright zones, Haunted World, Skullvania, and a corn maze to explore.

Einstein’s Wisdom Of The Week

 “If A is a success in life, then A equals X plus Y plus Z. Work is X; Y is play; and Z is keeping your mouth shut.”

-Albert Einstein-

Automotive Fluid Glossary: Motor Oil


Motor Oil: We hear the message all the time: “Change your oil.” So why is this important? Well, motor oil is perhaps the single-most critical fluid in your vehicle. Motor oil is the key lubricant that allows all those moving metal parts inside your vehicle’s engine to spin freely. It protects these moving parts, helps cool the engine, suspends contaminants so they can be removed in the oil filter, and more. Plus, modern motor oil can even provide a small but measurable fuel economy benefit compared to motor oils of yore. 

 Motor oil is created by blending a “base oil” usually refined from petroleum with a chemical additives package that helps the motor oil perform a wide variety of tasks over a broad range of temperatures.  (Many years ago, drivers had to use both a “summer” motor oil in hot temperatures and a “winter” motor oil in cold temps.)

 The interval at which motor oil should be changed varies by car manufacturer, but the simple fact is that motor oil inside any car that has an internal combustion engine (even hybrid vehicles) eventually sees its additive package become depleted, which necessitates its replacement. 

 The above was written by Garreett McKinnon and was published in the Fall 2011 edition of Vehicle MD




Fall Quarter Fun Fair

 Bring your change and enjoy some cheap family fun while helping raise funds for local schools at The Fall Quarter Fun Fair. The Fair will be held Friday, October 14, from 3 to 7 p.m. at Broadview University, rain or shine.  The campus is located at 2750 East Gala Court in Meridian.  All food, events and activities (bounce house, face painting, balloon animals, carnival games, bingo, mini-pony rides, etc.) will cost a quarter each. All quarters raised will benefit local schools! For more information visit: broadwayuniversity.edu.


New Safety Features Drastically Reduce Accidents But Are Americans Interested?


 When it comes to investing in technology that’s designed to make the driving experience safer, Americans admit favoring increased convenience over driver and passenger safety, according to a MetLife Auto & Home American Safety Pulse Poll. 

“The most recognized and sought-after technology features tend to be those which promote style over substance, when in reality, it’s the less glamorous features like electronic stability control which make for safer vehicles,” says Bill Moore, president of MetLife Auto & Home. “By increasing their understanding of the available safety features in today’s vehicles, consumers can make more informed choices about which cars provide the best safeguards to help protect themselves and their families on the road.” 

Technology awareness: Are Americans too distracted by gadgets? 
When asked about their familiarity with safety-oriented automobile features – some of which have been available for several years – survey respondents gave low marks: 

* Less than half of respondents were very or somewhat familiar with electronic stability control, one of the most significant safety advancements in recent years, which helps improve steering and prevent rollover accidents. Almost one-third had never heard of it at all. 

* Forty-four percent of respondents were very or somewhat familiar with brake assist, which applies additional brake force in the event of a sudden stop. 

* Forty-three percent were very or somewhat familiar with forward collision warning, which alerts the driver when sensors detect an imminent front-end impact. 

* Only 28 percent were very or somewhat familiar with the lane departure warning feature, which warns a driver that he or she is drifting out of the designated lane on a highway. Forty-one percent of respondents had never even heard of the feature. 

In contrast, Americans gave much higher marks for convenience features, such as GPS (90 percent) and bluetooth accessories (77 percent). And, when asked which features they wanted in their next car, more people opted for convenience features such as GPS (63 percent) over safety features like electronic stability control (45 percent). 
Research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that electronic stability control significantly decreases the likelihood of a single-vehicle crash by up to 59 percent and provides a 23 percent reduction in the probability of fatal crashes. Starting this year, electronic stability control is a standard feature on all new passenger cars in the U.S. 

Although safety technology can help to make America’s roadways safer, the fact remains: No amount of technology can replace the safety benefit of an experienced driver behind the wheel. 

“Auto manufacturers have made significant strides with regard to safety innovations over the past 10 years, but the ultimate safety feature is an alert and prepared driver,” says Moore. “Technology advancements have greatly improved the comfort and safety of cars, but overreliance on these features can be dangerous – drivers need to remember that it’s still up to them to operate their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner.” 

Courtesy ARA content

Fuel Economy Myth Of The Week

“Fill Up When It’s Cool Out”

 According  to studies conducted by Consumer Reports, the temperature of fuel varies only marginally during the day, so there’s little benefit to filling up during the cool part of the day. 


The Idaho Botanical Garden’s 2011 Fall Harvest Festival

  Enjoy a bumper crop of family fun while supporting a great cause at the 2011 Fall Harvest Festival this weekend, Saturday & Sunday Oct. 8 & Oct. 9. From noon-6 p.m. shop the farmers market with a variety of local vendors and fresh ingredients, purchase pumpkins, great food, fall brews, wine, and enjoy live music, hay rides, free games, and kids’ activities! 

 Admission is $3 for IBG and Boise Co-op Members, $6 for Non-Members and $3 for kids ages 4-12 (kids 4 and younger free). Purchase tickets at the gate or in advance by visiting the Garden office. 

 For more info visit: http://idahobotanicalgarden.org/fallfestival